The recent COVID-19 outbreak has seriously impacted the way people live their lives and has led to most states implementing stay at home orders which has influenced how the majority of those still employed work. Currently, about 66% of employees are working remotely at least once per week because of this pandemic. Additionally, approximately 44% of employees now work from home 5 or more days per week, a figure that has more than doubled since before the pandemic. An unintended outcome of the COVID-19 outbreak is that many companies are now realizing that it may be beneficial for themselves as well as their employees to continue to offer remote-work capabilities beyond the pandemic. In fact, 84% of US companies anticipate broader and more permanent work from home adoption once daily life normalizes.
Considering that many people are currently working from home for at least the next couple of months, and will possibly be working remotely or have the option to work remotely in the future, it is important to understand how to make the best of this unfamiliar situation. If you follow these five tips on how to work from, you should have no problem adjusting to and may be able to become more productive than you otherwise would be working from the office.
One of the most dreaded parts of everyone’s day is commuting – whether it is by bike, car, bus, or train, it seems to just be a waste of time. Probably the largest benefit for many working from home is the fact that they don’t have to commute anymore. Not only do they now have more time to do things they want, but it can also save money.
It may not be very apparent, but your daily commute can also be beneficial. During this down time you are able to make a checklist of tasks that you want to get done and which tasks have priority, prepare for a meeting or presentation that you have to give, or most importantly get in the right mindset. When working from home this is still important. Avoid rolling out of bed and signing right on to your computer, take at least a few minutes (doesn’t have to be the same amount of time your normal commute into the office would be) to mentally prepare yourself for the day.
Dress How You Want
Not a fan of the professional attire that you are required to wear to work? Well, now that you are working from home you either have a more relaxed dress code, or possibly none at all. When working from home it is important to wear clothes that are comfortable to you so you can maximize your productivity. Just be sure you remember to wear appropriate clothing if you have a video conference.
It is important to understand that sometimes putting on your work attire may get you in a better mindset. If you feel more productive and in a more work ready mood by putting on that work suit or pantyhose, then by all means continue to do so.
Stick to a Schedule
Now that you have the ability to work at any time of the day, it may be tempting to check your emails late at night or do some catch up work because you had a hectic day. While this may be acceptable in some instances, you should try to stick to a normal schedule.
Depending on your employer, you may now have more flexibility. Instead of working the ‘normal’ 9-5, you may be able to work 7-3, or 10-6. One of the advantages of working from home is that you have the ability to work during the hours that are the most fitting for you.
Find a Place to Work that Works for You
When you start working from home, the first question you have (besides how to log in to the VPN) is what part of my house or apartment should I designate for work? For some it may be a home office, but for those who do not have one, it may take some trial and error to figure out what area works best for you.
If you don’t already have a spot to get work done from home, it’s important to find a place where you can focus and tune out distractions. This may be difficult, especially if you have kids running around or a spouse/roommate that also has to work from home, but it is imperative that you are able to really zone in when you need to.
With that being said, feel free to try out different places, or even switch it up during the day. Do you like how the sun fills your dining room in the morning – if so set up shop here for a couple hours, and then move somewhere else. Have a screened in deck – perfect, grab an extension cord and get some fresh air while you work. Also, don’t be afraid to get creative. Ever hear of a cloffice?
Make the Most of you Breaks
Now that you are working from home, it may seem that you don’t have the best work life balance. During the week you may have been used to your pre-work routine, but now that you don’t have to commute to work, the weekends may start to seem like every other day. In order to combat this, and to maintain a healthy balance of work and life, make sure you take your allotted breaks.
Now that you are home, you can use your breaks to do some chores around the house. Have a 15 minute break? Work on some laundry, water your plants, or fill the dishwasher. If you have a longer break, say for lunch, then why not run to the store or start prepping dinner. This may also be a great time to do a quick at home workout, or go for a walk outside. There is nothing better than getting your blood flowing or getting some fresh air mid-day as this will be able to help you focus once you get back to work. Also, by completing some chores around the house or getting your workout in during a time you would normally be at work, you will be able to have more time to do the things you really want once you clock out for the day.
Working from home may take a while to get used to, but don’t fret as we are all in this together. Be sure to follow the five work from home tips mentioned above which will help you stay productive, positive, and healthy during these certainly interesting times.
Now you should have all the tools and tips to work from home like a champ!
Still looking for more information on the best ways that you can work from home? Well check out this detailed guide – Work From Home Guide.
Have any other work from home tips? Be sure to mention them in the comment section below.